SD&G county budget talks underway

SD&G – While it looks good on paper, the likelihood that SD&G taxpayers will be seeing a decrease in the amount of taxes they pay to the upper-tier government is slim.

As county council meets today (Wednesday) to talk about the 2017 budget, the preliminary document is looking at an overall six per cent decrease in property taxes.

With assessment factored in, that would be $66 less per year for the average homeowner or roughly 5.5 per cent. (The average residential assessment is $206,655)

The county plans to collect around $41.2 million in taxes this year – 75 per cent of that from homeowners.

Typical in budgets past, staff bring in a meat and potatoes budget and then councillors look at options of adding in projects and work to bring in a budget within the rate of inflation.

The draft budget notes the rate of inflation in Ontario is 1.8 per cent. To bring in a budget at that level, the county could add just over $3.1 million in work to its capital expenses.

Close to half the budget goes into maintain the county’s transportation infrastructure – roads, bridges and culverts.

Already in the roads budget is resurfacing work to sections of County Roads 1, 2, 3, 18, 27, 30 and 34. There’s also micro surfacing treatment plans for sections of County Roads 2, 14, 15, 16 and 34.

Councillors will also discuss the option of adding in work to County Road 22 from Highway 138 to Maxville for the 2017 road construction season.